LUCAN AND CUALA ADVANCE TO HURLING SEMI FINAL FROM O’TOOLE PARK DOUBLE HEADER
Yesterday we brought you the run down on Parnell Park’s two games as Kilmacud and St. Vincent’s were successful in reaching this year’s Senior Hurling Semi Finals.
While that action was going on, four sides were squaring of on the other side of the city. Lucan Sarsfields held on to beat Ballyboden St. Enda’s and reigning champions Cuala left it late but overcame St. Brigids in two enthralling games.
Lucan Sarsfields 2-12 Ballyboden St. Enda’s 0-16
The first of yesterday’s games, in front of a huge crowd in Crumlin, saw vital goals for Lucan Sarsfields to see out a win against a strong Ballyboden St. Enda’s.
Ballyboden had started and ended their group 1 campaign with big wins over Cuala and Faughs. Lucan, in a similar position had beaten St. Brigid’s and Ballinteer during their campaign.
Lucan really had the dream start with a wonderful goal from Matt McCaffrey in the second minute, Ballyboden replied thanks to points from play by Conor Dooley and Conal Keaney.
The men in green and black then found it hard to make an impression in attack and were very reliant on Tommy Somers to keep them ticking over, while Conor Dooley hit four frees for Boden to leave the sides level at the break.
Lucan came out fighting in the second session. Scores from Johnny McCaffrey, Ciaran Dowling and Kevin Fitzgerald gave them an early lead.
A Paul Ryan free was the only response from Ballyboden to keep 0-02 between them. But following another point from Johnny McCaffrey, Ciaran Dowling sent a huge ball in, met by CJ Smith who slotted it home. Chris Crummey and Kevin O’Reilly scores followed and all of a sudden Lucan were 0-08 ahead.
But with eleven minutes remaining it was now down to Lucan to defend that lead as Ballyboden lifted in the hope of a comeback. Scores from Roche, McMorrow and four from Paul Ryan left only 0-02 between them but it was too late. Chris Crummey in a sweeper role protected the Lucan goal from any real threat and that was enough to get them across the line.
Full Time Score. Lucan Sarsfields 2-12 Ballyboden St. Enda’s 0-16
Lucan Sarsfields Scores: T Somers 0-5 (0-4f, 0-1 ‘65’), M McCaffrey, CJ Smith 1-0 each, C Crummey, J McCaffrey 0-2 each, K Fitzgerald, K O’Reilly (0-1f), C Dowling 0-1 each.
Ballyboden St Enda’s Scorers: C Dooley 0-5 (0-4f), P Ryan 0-4 (0-3f), N McMorrow 0-2, C Keaney, D O’Connor, A Mellett, N Ryan, J Roche 0-1 each.
Cuala 3-14 St Brigid’s 2-15
Dublin’s reigning County Champions Cuala really tested their abilities in a tough encounter against St. Brigid’s to advance to the semi finals of this year’s Championship, and still find themselves on course for the three-in-a-row.
The vast experience this side has gained having successfully captured both the Leinster and All Ireland titles recently was evident as they were able to carve out a result.
It would be dreadfully wrong not praise St Brigid’s who poured on the pressure for the bulk of the game, making it difficult for the reigning champs. But ultimately their intensity drained their energy resources in the closing stages, allowing Cuala in the finish.
Brigid’s started with great guns, and six minutes in Eoghan Dunne found himself in the Cuala end line, squaring the ball, which was met by Cian O’Sullivan who sent the ball into the net.
The intensity of this encounter was magnified by an off the ball incident before there was 10 minutes on the clock and both sides were reduced to 14 as John Sheanan and Paul Winters were given their marching orders.
Cuala’s patience finally paid dividends, and the tactic of leaving Con O’Callaghan one on one up front bore fruit and 18 and 26 minutes as he punished Brigids with two fine goals, and leaving the score at the break as Cuala 2-06 St. Brigid’s 1-08.
With only a point separating them at the beginning of the second session, St. Brigid’s continued to dominate the majority of the possession.
Substitute Darragh O’Connell and Cian O’Sullivan traded points before Johnny McGuirk squared the game.
Cuala spoiled the chance to put 0-04 between when Mark Schutte saw his shot wide and David Treacy’s penalty strike was stopped amazingly by Alan Nolan.
A ‘65 from Treacy was cancelled out by O’Sullivan and this was how it went for another spell with Aodhan McInerney being cancelled out by Treacy. it was a jostle to the front with that continued.
Points from O’Sullivan and Johnny McGuirk put Brigid’s back in front but Cuala were not finished as David Treacy and Jake Malone scored to bring the sides level again four minutes to play.
David Treacy pointed a free before brother Seán scored the all important goal and Cuala had enough breathing space even with Aodhan McInerney’s late goal.
Full Time Cuala 3-14 St Brigid’s 2-15
Cuala Scorers: D Treacy 0-9 (0-4f, 0-2 ‘65’), Con O’Callaghan 2-0, S Treacy 1-0, S Moran, J Malone, N Kenny, M Schutte, D O’Connell 0-1 each.
St Brigid’s Scorers: C O’Sullivan 1-9 (0-6f, 0-1 ‘65’), A McInerney 1-1, J McGuirk 0-2, J O’Loughlin, D Plunkett, P Winters (0-1f) 0-1 each.